Isaiah 58:7-10; Ps 112:4-9; 1 Corinthians 2:1-3; Matthew 5:13-16
God’s light is a major theme throughout our Bible. It is mentioned 77 times from Genesis to Revelation. As God was creating the universe and our earth, he said in Genesis 1:3, “Let there be light,” and there was light as opposed to darkness.
Light on earth comes from the sun as the center of our solar system, not the universe. Our groupings of planets are only a speck in the vastness of the universe, which is still growing. God is the true light.
Light statements in John’s gospel
St. John’s gospel mentions Jesus as our true light thirteen times and in his first letter, four times. As our knowledge of God and our daily prayer life grow, God’s power and light grow in us. It is like keeping your car battery charged. God’s divine energy gives us his power to do many things. We have energy to move around and go from place to place as God guides us with his grace to bring his love to others in need. These are the Light statements in John’s gospel.
John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
John 1:3b: Whatever came to be in him, found life, and life for the Light of men.
John 1:5: The Light shines in the darkness, a darkness that hid (could) not overcome it.
John 1:7b John the Baptist was sent as a witness to testify to the Light.
John 1:9 The real Light, which gives light to every man, was coming into the world.
John 3:19: The Light came into the world, but men loved darkness rather than Light because their deeds were wicked.
John 3:21: But whoever acts in truth comes into the Light, to make it clear that his deeds are done in God.
John 8:12: I Am the Light of the world. No follower of Mine shall ever walk in darkness; no, he shall possess the Light of life.
John 9:5: While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
John 12:35: The Light will be among you a little while longer.
John 12:35: Walk while you have the Light.
John 12:36: While you have the Light, keep faith in the Light; thus you will become children on the Light.
John 12:46: I came into the world as its Light, to keep anyone who believes in Me from remaining in the dark.
Revelation 22:5: In heaven, “People will need no light from lamp or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them Light.” They shall reign forever.
God charges us up
For our human body, God charges us up not just for ourselves but he sends us out on our mission to be his hands and love doing good for others. We go about as Jesus did, helping some of those in need around us. We get God’s energy to help those immediately around us in our family, jobs, neighbors and parishes, which we help build up. We bring God’s love to them.
There is a priority to helping, first our spouse, family, work partners, and those we see in need around us, and then those God’s Holy Spirit shows us. We become Jesus’ light and blessings to them. We can’t help everyone in the world. We are not God and are not perfect. Hopefully, we keep on growing in our faith, hope and charity.
Let Christ’s Light shine from within and around us that all may be drawn to Jesus. Let us also continue to pray for our new national leaders that God will guide and empower them to work for the betterment of our nation and the world.
Keep shining with the Light and joy of Jesus,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2017 Fr. Bob Hilz)